The stock exhaust on a 2-stroke dirt bike doesn't offer much to look at.

It braps but it doesn't braaaaap.

Basically it gets the job done. You have the expansion chamber (pipe) and the silencer (muffler) along with a generic power band. A stock 2-stroke exhaust works well for most riders especially those on a budget who prefer spending their money on riding rather than glamorizing.

However, in some cases, upgrading the exhaust on your 2-stroke dirt bike works in your favor when competing at a high level on the track and keeps you out of trouble when ripping along public trails. Most riders, however, enjoy the thrill that comes with upgrading their exhaust because in all honesty little else looks cooler and slicker than installing an FMF Fatty or Pro Circuit Platinum pipe combined with a Powercore or Factory 304 muffler.

Grab any combination of pipe and silencer and you immediately turn your 2-stroke dirt bike into ripping machine that turns heads. So regardless of your reasons for upgrading you might sit on the fence of whether to upgrade the pipe, just the silencer or both. Money comes into play here so does your willingness to take on the work or pay for mechanic's hands.

Since most riders tend to upgrade the exhaust on their 2-stroke dirt bike pretty quickly, we want to help you decide, therefore let's run down the benefits of each as well as upgrading the whole shebang.

2-Stroke Exhaust

2-Stroke Pipe

Upgrading the expansion chamber - or the pipe - allows for an increase in horsepower, changes to low-, mid- or high-end power range and a smoother power curve depending on make and model. Manufacturers like FMF, Bill's Pipes and Pro Circuit make various 2-stroke pipes to address whatever you want out of riding.

The pipe dimensions offer the real tell as the size and shape of the expansion chamber is tuned for a specific power output. For example, the FMF Fatty offers an all-around gain in power while an FMF Gnarly or Torque target lower-end power.

Usually, the first upgrade completed on a 2-stroke starts with the pipe. You get more weight loss and enhanced changes in power and performance when upgrading just the pipe compared to just the silencer, however, some aftermarket pipes do not fit with stock silencer (and some aftermarket silencers do not fit with stock pipes) so riders often just upgrade the whole exhaust system. Overall, if you race Motocross and need an edge, upgrading the pipe on your 2-stroke gives you the best bang for your buck.

Understand pipes dent. The only way to keep them dent free is by not riding. Therefore, when shopping for pipes, consider your style of riding. Manufacturer generally use a larger gauge metal on pipes specific for trail and off-road riding to ward of dents but even the strongest of metal cannot prevent all dents. Eventually, you will need to replace the pipe on your 2-stroke dirt bike.

2-stroke Muffler

The 2-stroke muffler (or silencer) sticks out the back and releases the exhaust. (As if you didn't know that.) You can probably argue you get much more style than substance when upgrading the muffler because of its position on the dirt bike and the sometimes matching and coordination with the plastic and graphics.

A 2-stroke muffler offers some performance upgrades and weight reduction however most riders upgrade just the silencer because of decibel requirements when competing in sanctioned off-road races or riding on public trails.

Mechanic installing a 2-stroke muffler on a dirt bike

Mechanic's Note: Don't let the word "silencer" fool you. Some riders upgrade the silencer for the noise! Motocross generally does not have sound restrictions and the FMF Powercore Shorty and Pro Circuit 304 Shorty "silencers" have a much louder and throaty sound than stock.

Additionally, some 2-stroke silencers double as a spark arrestor another factor to consider when racing off-road or riding on public trials. Most, if not all, public trail systems in the United States require a spark arrestor and unless you have bought a trail specific dirt bike the exhaust off the showroom floor will not comply with either decibel levels or spark arresting.

The Turbine Core from FMF or the Pro Circuit Type 296 address sound and forest service requirements and work with the OEM pipe.

If you heard about the Fastway Spark Arrestor End Cap, a pretty cheap and quick solution to your current exhaust system's spark arresting problem, stop right here. These outstanding add-ons work primarily on 4-strokes and only current KTM and Husqvarna 2-stroke dirt bike models.

Finally, don't forget to change the exhaust packing. You can read "How To Repack Exhaust on a Dirt Bike or ATV" for more information but old packing inhibits power and boosts the decibels.

2-Stroke Dirt Bike Full Exhaust

Now we get to the full upgrade of the pipe and muffler. Most riders interested in upgrading the 2-stroke exhaust on their dirt bikes generally switch out the whole system. While this obviously costs more it's really not that much more than just upgrading the pipe or the muffler. Plus! You can get a combo, which lowers the cost a bit, allowing you to grab a high-end pipe and silencer and save a few bucks.

Looks That Kill

Upgrading the pipe, muffler or both offers not only an immediate upgrade over the stock system in terms of power and performance but you also get a really slick looking bike. You can get plated pipes, coned pipes and even carbon fiber pipes as well as similar features in silencers. Scalvini makes an eye-popping pipe and the Pro Circuit Works Pipe offers a rugged carbon steel look. On the back-end, the FMF Titanium Powercore 2.1 Silencer fits stock or an FMF pipe, and the titanium and carbon made Pro Circuit Ti-2 Carbon-Aramid R304 Silencer has a look all its own. Check out all 2-stroke dirt bike exhaust systems:

Installed 2-stroke pipe on a dirt bike

Upgrading the 2-Stroke Exhaust

Now you have a decision to make. Upgrade the pipe, muffler or the entire system? Your style of riding, where you ride, budget and experience all come into play. We can't make that decision for you however we can help. So, we'll provide some bullet points to consider:

Reasons Not to Upgrade the Exhaust on your 2-stroke

  • New to riding
  • Budgetary constraints
  • You have access to open land without sound or spark arresting restrictions
  • You simply don't care about having an upgraded exhaust

Reasons to Upgrade the 2-stroke Pipe

  • You race Motocross
  • Looking for specific low- to high-end power and torque gains
  • Weight loss

Reasons to Upgrade the 2-stroke Muffler

  • Lower decibels
  • Spark Arrestor
  • Better sound and overall look

Reasons to Upgrade the 2-stroke Full Exhaust System

  • Ultimate in power performance
  • Optimum weight loss
  • Ideal for competitive Motocross racing
  • Overall look and sound of the exhaust system

Give us a call at 888-676-8853 for additional help on picking the best 2-stroke exhaust for the make and model dirt bike your ride. We have many gearheads with 2-stroke experience who can help narrow your choice on the available 2-stroke exhaust combos, 2-stroke pipes, 2-stroke silencers and 2-stroke spark arrestors.